Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Growing up in four years

In their scholarship applications to us each spring/summer, graduating high school seniors often write that they plan to “eradicate poverty”, “revamp the entire educational system”, or “make so much money that my parents will never want for anything”. It’s remarkable (and full of pathos) to read their letters four years later, when some of them write to renew a four-year award.

Aspirations change to things like, “Work for the Lowcountry Food Bank to do what I can to help people who need food”, “Be a really good high school English teacher”, or “Be a great parent to the children I’ll have some day”. Reminds us of the starfish story. Review Committee members recognize their own idealistic selves in the innocent plans and goals of the high school seniors they recommend for awards, and they also see their own young-20’s selves in the graduating college students – faced with “the real world” and needing to find where they fit into it.

We keep up with many of our scholarship recipients – some because they keep in touch with us, and some by our sleuthing. Many have become famous in one good way or another, and all are doing what they can to make their own corner of the universe a better place.

Early July, the Foundation gave its 101st scholarship of the 2010 spring/summer season, with volunteers on 14 different Review Committees awarding nearly $250,000. If you want to feel good about the characters, personalities, aims and ambitions of the next generation, give us a call to sign up to volunteer on one of next spring’s Review Committees. Easy it’s not, but no one has ever regretted doing it.

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